Will Glovinsky Responds to Bruce Robbins
I wonder whether the following might help mediate (yes, a micro-progressive formulation) between Mufti’s leery regard for corporatism’s opportunistic calls for porous borders and Bruce Robbins’s charge of something “like cynicism.” The question of faith in the possibility of progress that Robbins raises depends less, it seems to me, on the complete realization of a utopian worldwide civis than on the partial, always contingent ways that utopia might influence our practical thinking and critical understanding. One way utopia has already done that is in the body of thought motivating humanitarianism (in its positive and dystopian manifestations); another is decolonial thought and action being performed within and, especially, outside of the academy. The latter sphere is far more likely to produce tangible results. But so long as we will indulge ourselves in thinking through utopia at all, doesn’t the critical, yes sometimes affectively negative work academics do – the work Mufti does here – remain necessary to sift the truly desirable from the perniciously attractive?